Cross-border pension schemes before IP completion day
Produced in partnership with Stephenson Harwood

The following Pensions practice note produced in partnership with Stephenson Harwood provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Cross-border pension schemes before IP completion day
  • Brexit revocation of the cross-border pension scheme regime
  • The legal framework before IP completion day
  • Definition of cross-border pension scheme
  • Reasons for operating a cross-border pension scheme
  • Administration of scheme
  • European members and employers
  • European members
  • European employer
  • Authorisation and approval
  • More...

Cross-border pension schemes before IP completion day

Brexit revocation of the cross-border pension scheme regime

As a result of Brexit, the UK’s cross-border pension scheme regime became obsolete with effect from IP completion (11 pm on 31 December 2020) and thus ceased to apply to UK schemes on and from that date. This was achieved through the Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, SI 2019/192 which revoked the following UK legislation on IP completion day:

  1. sections 287–295 of the Pensions Act 2004 (PeA 2004), and

  2. the Occupational Pension Schemes (Cross-border Activities) Regulations 2005, SI 2005/3381 (the Cross-Border Regs)

Note that the Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, SI 2019/192 were originally drafted on the basis that they would come into force on ‘exit day’ (ie 11 pm on 31 January 2020), but a provision of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 (in the form of Schedule 5, para 1) had the effect of postponing this until IP completion day.

Importantly, cross-border pension schemes continue to operate across the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA) post-IP completion day. The UK cannot however participate in this regime.

In a statement dated 27 April 2018, the European Commission confirmed that, post-IP completion day, UK cross-border pension schemes would be treated as third-country undertakings. As a result:

  1. such schemes would have to comply

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